Sunday, April 19, 2015

Why My God Won’t Show Up for Mayweather-Pacquiao

Freddie Roach once said that the mega fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is “a battle between Good and Evil”, Pacquiao being the Angel and Mayweather the Devil. Truth is, Manny and Floyd are both believers. With regards to Floyd’s materialistic ways he insisted that for him, God is still a priority. But to tell you guys, my God won’t be at MGM Grand on Saturday night, not because of the costly ticket, my dear readers. Nor because of the Churchmen and pastors singing the Philippine National Anthem that any hoodwink may consider as an infringement of the Constitutional clause on Separation of Church and the State. I’ll tell you later why my God won’t show up for Mayweather-Pacquiao.

In one of his Instagram posts Floydie explained his outlook about his God: "God will not give you anything you can't handle. That's why God gave me the best hands in the business to pray with, box with and count money with." God knows that no one is so wicked he never once in his life show in his heart something that God made. But since this is more of a sports write-up, I would not expound on Miguel de Unamuno’s theological concept of the difference between “God Idea” and “God Himself” as a rejoinder.

What matters most now, since both proclaimed their belief in God, of whatever basis they both have, on whose side the Almighty will be on May 3? But to tell you, a draw is not a remote possibility. Compared to his former opponents, Justine Beiber’s man now seems to be more kind against Justine Fortune’s bet. Pretty Boy is now “saintly” judging from his latest “no-trash-talking” and reserve gesture not taking into consideration his sincerity or lack of it.

Mayweather is his God’s child too. The child in TBE once declared, again on his Instagram account: "I am guilty! I'm materialistic and I'm motivated by money … but God is first in my life." How could a loving Father censure his son with such statements of loving acceptance (?) with such proclamation no matter how ridiculous it is conveyed? If my God isn’t God of love, understanding and forgiveness, my God ceases to be God.

“God will deliver Mayweather into my hands,” says Pacquiao on what he expects from his God. But in boxing as well as in life, we have to struggle and fight it out ourselves not relying on the deliverer solely taking action. In boxing, it is the boxer who delivers blow and punches, not God,- yours, theirs and mine. Reducing my God’s role to that of Air21 deliveryman and not as co-actor in our every undertaking is in a way, blasphemous.  

But my God would not be with Kenny Bayless or Tony Weeks on top of the ring neither with boxing camps or corners on that much anticipated bout, or with Al Bernstein and the rest of the crew for its media coverage. The righteousness and evilness the two champions in their personal lives, past and present, were not part of the Tale of the Tape like in any other boxing match that we have in mind.

Both sons of their respective Gods no doubt, Floydie and Manny are bestowed with the ability to hit their fellow pugilists would finally  be meeting each other in the grandest “fistory” of all time scheduled in the majestic basilica of gambling and entertainment in the whole universe, a place where spirituality has no room. Las Vegas is a vineyard of vice where God is irrelevant. And as I have told you a while ago, my God wouldn’t be in the house because in there, my God is a persona non grata. Would God dare to be a spectator in a sport where the ultimate objective is to hurt and maim your opponent? Be reminded too that God abhors den of gamblers and love of money. In the so-called Sweet Science, like in any other sciences, God and anything about God are less asked for.

If God would not be around, what will happen? Between bells, both Mayweather and Pacquiao will solely rely on their own style, athleticism, power and experience. The outcome of the fight will be greatly resolved by their ability to knock-out or punch each other out and not much on their God’s interference. In a profane and brutal sport of boxing, action has more weight and might than the mysticism and enormity of the player’s prayer. In every boxer-believer, fighting is a conviction that there is God up there. Action and prayer, though do not diametrically opposed, cannot go hand-in-hand evenly in the psyche of a pound-for-pounder. I would not mind being less-Godly and be a rock-hard, blood-thirsty boxing buff on that day!

The outcome of this super fight will be determined more by the American and the Filipino atop the ring and not by my God who is not bias against any race or religion. It’s another story when it would go by a distance and end into the scorecard or a controversial upshot.

It is because the impious gods and demigods of the Mecca of Boxing, unlike my God, would be there with all their mighty influence…

(Photo : Jec-Hon)


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Pacquiao’s Sad Entrance Song

It sounds like a “punebre” or a funeral song to many than a walk-in tune for a boxer heading towards the ring. If Manny Pacquiao only allowed Guerilla Tactics to arrange and perform it for him, it could have been different. Guerilla Tactics by the way is a musical band composed of members who hail from Sablayan, venue of the first two professional fights of the Pambansang Kamao. His entrance song “Lalaban Ako Para sa Pilipino” written, directed and performed by  Pacquiao himself does not have luster. It’s almost a sad song. If only it were a movie, it’s more suitable in a soundtrack of a drama film rather than those in the genre of action movies, others may think.

Some would say that it’s what we Filipinos call “signus” or bad omen or a premonition? Or is it Pacquiao singing the “punebre”, in advance for the impending “death” of his opponent, the undefeated American boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. or the other way around?

“Eye of the Tiger” was PacMan’s favorite entrance music in the early years of his successful career. From the title of the entrance tune to Mayweather on May 2 itself, we, the fans, are assured that the Pac Man would fight for us but did not assure us that he will win. I hope I am wrong in this.

In his fight against Brandon Rios, a lot of people were amused with his choice of entrance music. It was Kathy Perry’s “Roar” which is “pambabae” (for women), they say. It’s a lame song, according to many but he convincingly won over Rios.

Yes, I have told you that “Lalaban Ako Para sa Pilipino” sounds like those being played in interment services and processions. But think how the dreaded, Undertaker beaten black and blue many of his opponents on top on a wrestling ring. How he knocked them down in the actual fight. But PacMan is not the Undertaker, you may argue.

The supposed sadness of Manny Pacquiao’s entrance music cannot be sadder than The Undertaker’s entrance music which is called Graveyard Symphony II V8.

A song which is truly part of the dirge, a “punebre” .….

(Video : Youtube)


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Pacquiao and the Anti-Intex Protest

Just less than a month before the much awaited and historic Mayweather-Paquiao match in Las Vegas come April 3, 2015 Philippine time, Intex Resources Corporation on its website last April 7, boastfully posted that, “The DENR, acting to the instruction from the Office of the President has lifted the suspension of the ECC.” With the present policy on mining of the Aquino government, this is somehow expected.

Well, I would not deal here much about the Mindoro Nickel Project (MNP) for I have already exhausted all my contentions against it in other pages and threads, neither would I dare announce my fearless forecast on the coming Mega Fight of the two of the greatest boxers of all time.

In a post to the discussion thread the other day about DENR’s re-instatement of MNP’s Environment Compliance Certificate or ECC (ECC-CO-0904-007-2721), I have commented, “Like Manny Pacquiao, let us go back to the training camp with this mission” coupled with the picture that you could see on top of this entry. With the coming of the much talked about fight, somebody might think that I am just exploiting the upcoming boxing rumble to suit my advocacy's purpose. Or I am just using the upcoming fight to stress my point untruthfully while in fact, I am just stating the truth of what we, pro-environment groups and individuals are supposed to do in the following days as a preparation for another fight for fragile ecosystems of Mindoro.

Please be reminded that 24 Mangyan and non-Mangyan volunteers staged a hunger strike in front of the DENR Building in Quezon City from November 7, 2009 onward. The protest ended after 11 days until the ECC was finally revoked by then Secretary Joselito Atienza. You may ask, “So, what Pacquiao has to do with that?” First, let us not forget that Pacquiao and Sec. Atienza are supportive of each other’s endeavors and allies in politics then.

Besides, fresh from his impressive TKO win over Miguel Cotto, Pac Man visited the secretary’s office that year and the champ’s victory parade passed through the picket line and Pacquiao greeted them. Informed of the event, the protesters creatively made boxing glove- shaped placards with the the advocacy messages, “Knock Out Intex” and “Pacman, help us stop mining in Mindoro!”, among other messages as plea of support from the triumphant Filipino boxer who suffered his lost from Darlene Antonino-Custodio two years after. Custodio got more than 64% of the total votes for the First District of Cotabato against the People’s Champ for the congressional position in 2007.

The formerly known as “Kid Kulafu” (I am mentioning this taking the risk of being accused of promoting the upcoming movie of Buboy Villar), just days after the protest in front of the DENR Office, in November 21, 2009, Pacquiao confirmed that he would run again for the congressional seat, but this time in Sarangani province where he eventually won.

In fact, on that particular instance during the protest in front of the DENR’s office, there was a Manifesto of Appeal to CongressManny that we can read in full text in this link.

Another fight is on for those who stood firm, like local officials and the Mangyans, and the people of Mindoro in general.

Yes, like Manny Pacquiao….

(Photo; Roslyn Arayata)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ode to a Lighthouse*

While you give light and signal messages
To distant sea vessels and ships
At your foot darkness persists.
Therefore, Lighthouse,
You are a paradox at its best!

Your watchman is more concerned
With distant occurrences
Than what is happening right under his feet.
Answer me Lighthouse,
Are you a building of care or neglect?

The splendid edifice
End up on a hill or island isolated
Sought by life sailors to you they could connect.
Yet, for that reason, Lighthouse,
To a distant lover you are likened.

In Palaces, slavery are reminded to slaves
And Cathedrals add guilt to sinners
Bridges are affront to swimmers.
Indeed, true, Lighthouse,
With firmness and all, you are affirmative!


Norman A. Novio
April 7, 2015
Presing Park, Sablayan

(*With Apologies to El Duque de Rivas)

(Photo: Nomadic Experience / Apo Reef Natural Park Lighthouse)